This is Ghana….

You know, this is Ghana….

When things do not run their usual course in Ghana, people tend to look at each other in a somewhat dismayed way, they will shake their heads and subsequently speak the memorable phrase: “This is Ghana”.
It resonates a feeling of resignation, people seem to emanate: “this is how it works here, what can a simple soul do about it?”
This acquiescent behaviour probably causes them less stress than when they were to get agitated over and over again by certain issues. Although one would sometimes like people to be less easy in accepting anomalies and more eager in standing up for their rights and for a proper functioning of society.
However, fortunately “This is Ghana” sometimes has a completely different sound, as will be proven by the story below.
It is a rough night with stormy weather and heavy rainfall in PCC and suddenly the lights go out. Soon after someone comes to tell me that the generator, which is normally used when there is a power cut like this, cannot be started because a giant teak tree which sits on the edge of the PCC compound is blown down on top of our overhead power cable network.
Some cables are broken by the heavy load and are hanging down. No electricity in PCC means: no lights when you have to walk to the bathroom at night and also no fans to keep us all at least a little cool.
Besides, our water pumps do not work without electricity and that is why the next morning we soon run down on water.
But then!
Around 6.30AM (!) the man with the chain saw is already sawing up the tree to clear the power cables. This job is done within the hour!
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At 8.30AM people from the electricity company arrive to repair the power cables, but unfortunately one of the electricity poles is also broken. It has to be replaced and a new pole has to come from Techiman (30 minutes down the road).
They assure me that the pole will be delivered that same day, but I doubt that….. This is Ghana.
Luckily our own electrician – together with another expert – is smart enough to shut off a part of the power network making it possible to use the generator for the rest of PCC. So we are able to use our water pumps again, problem 1 (“no water”) has been solved for the time being.
It is becoming later and later in the day and still no new pole.
“It is coming” they keep on repeating, but I am not very hopeful and thinking “Yeah, this in Ghana for sure, maybe tomorrow…..”
But much to my surprise the pole actually arrives in Nkoranza though late in the day.
The network manager and his people have been waiting all the time until the pole arrives and by working hard and even in the dark they are successful in repairing the power cables that selfsame day and look, the lights go on again in the course of the evening!
We have power again, light in our darkness!
“Well done”, we tell these workers and at the same time I am thinking:
“Look, this is also Ghana, these people have worked hard from the early morning till late in the evening to repair the damage and they did it all in one day!
No quiet acquiescence but action”!
To me “This is Ghana” has a new and positive ring to it because of this particular day. Ghana keeps surprising you!